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Retail alliance group calls for urgent action on the GST threshold ahead of Mr Hockey’s meeting with state and territory counterparts

25/11/2013

 

Retail industry alliance the Australian Traders Group (ATG) members lead by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) have met with senior State and Federal Government Treasurers over recent weeks on the low value overseas GST collection issue.

Spokesperson for the group and Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the ATG has been in discussions with government and opposition MPs, emphasizing the urgent need for collection on LVIT. ARA members have directly raised the issue of overseas GST collection with the Prime Minister in discussions over recent weeks.

“We are also in discussions with state government treasurers, officers and federal government ministers to get this issue finally resolved.

“The ATG industry groups fully support NSW Treasurer Mike Baird in his call for the LVIT issue to be fixed as soon as possible. Mr. Baird has been pushing for reform on the low-value threshold on GST for online overseas purchases for a long time, and we are pleased to see that online shopping purchases worth less than $1000 will finally be on the agenda when Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey meets his state and territory counterparts this week.

“It is now up to the states and territories to make a case for changes to the goods and services tax (GST). The ARA and ATG members see Australian based online and traditional stores disadvantaged with the current arrangements and with various low cost collection methods on the table, there should be little standing in the way of collection of the tax through a number of methods.

“We want to level the playing field for online Australian retailers who have to charge GST while their overseas competitors do not. If a reduction to $20 in the threshold from the current $1000 collection rate was implemented, around $1 billion GST could be collected in the 2014-15 financial year, according to last year’s LVIT Taskforce report,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The Australian Traders Group (ATG) comprises the following industry bodies: Australian Retailers Association, Australian Booksellers Association, Bicycle Industries Australia, Photo Marketing Association, Australian Music Association, Photo Imaging Council of Australia, Retail Cycle Traders Australia (Inc), Australian Toy Association, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Franchise Council of Australia and Snowsports Industries of Australia.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $258 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041

-ends-  For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call the ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556 or E: media@retail.org.au

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